HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - After an off season unlike any other, it is finally game week for Rainbow Warriors football, opening their shortened 2020 Mountain West schedule this Saturday against Fresno State.
Senior running back Calvin Turner says that the turbulent path to get here, makes the 'Bows more excited to get back on the gridiron.
“It’s been very crazy, it’s like we’ve been off, on, off, on and it’s been so back and forth, but i think the entire team is just ready to go out there on Saturday and put on a great show.” Turner told reporters after Tuesday’s practice. “We’ve been preparing, whenever we’ve had time to prepare, we’ve been preparing very well to be ready to play, so it’s going to be a very exciting time to take the field for the first time.”
The Georgia native is new to UH’s roster this year, after transferring from the now defunct Jacksonville University football program, where he played quarterback.
Turner is listed as the number two running back behind newly elected captain Miles Reed.
A lot of players are in new positions this season, after the depth chart for this week’s game was released on Monday.
Returnee Penei Pavihi is also making a position change to defensive end, after coming off of a knee injury that sidelined him in 2019.
Now back and healthy, Pavihi and the rest of the Warriors are attacking this season with their new motto, ‘Tougher Than Hell’.
“On defense, we’re going to chase the ball, on offense going to obviously score a lot of points and just being together, disciplined, everybody just working together and just going at a fast pace.” Pavihi said. “Just being THH, that’s our motto this year, being Tougher Than Hell, giving it your all and when you’re at your last breath just giving that much more.”
Saturday’s game also marks the beginning of the Todd Graham era in Manoa, as the new head man explains that he’s not just here to be here, he’s aiming for more.
“Just grateful for the opportunity, i told our players that, nobody cares what you did last year or last week, i love this sport because you’ve got to go out and earn it everyday.” Graham said. “I’m just grateful, but I’m not grateful to go out and show up either, I’m grateful for a chance to go out there to compete and help these kids compete to be the best and compete to be champions.”
UH travels to California this week to reignite a rivalry with the Bulldogs, but it will be an uphill battle according to Graham, who says winning on the road is difficult enough, without playing during a pandemic.
“Tradition matters, but going on the road and winning in college football is the absolute hardest thing there is to do, you have to be really mentally tough to do that especially in this circumstance that we’re in.” Graham said. “No excuses, we’ve got to go out there and we’ve got to figure out a way to win.”
The 'Bows are set to kickoff against Fresno State at 1:30 p.m. Hawaii time, this Saturday on Spectrum Sports pay-per-view.